Title: Something to Talk About
Author: Meryl Wilsner
Summary: Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet and, just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. But as the gossip spreads, paparazzi follow them outside the office, coworkers treat them differently, and a “source” starts feeding information to the media—all while their only comment remains “no comment”. (Because why comment on something that doesn’t exist?) With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what her boss needs, and Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. When they begin to realize there might be some weight behind the rumor, they must decide if acting on the spark between them is worth fanning the gossip flames.
Note: an eARC of this title was acquired via NetGalley.
Who cared if the world figured out their feelings before they did? They’d figured them out now.
Y’all know how much I freaking love illustrated covers—and, if you don’t, you should—which means I barely had to think twice before requesting this on NetGalley. And, while carving out time to actually sit down and read has been something I’m not doing all that frequently, I did manage it for this book. (It was a really good decision.)
Something to Talk About is a lot of different things, mushed into a really sweet romance. First and foremost, though, it centers around “queer women falling in love.” While I’m usually drawn to heterosexual romances (just because that’s how I see the world), I loved that it doesn’t matter that Jo and Emma are the same gender. Their story is how they fall in love, not that they fall in love.
Although I really did enjoy Something to Talk About—and will 100% be putting Wilsner on my radar—this book was hella slow. (Not that I need every romance to be r-rated, but not having the leads get their ~*sexy time*~ until 95% of the way in was pushing it.) But, then again, the slowness let there be so much pining—and y’all, I LIVE for pining. That bone-deep ache when you catch feelings for someone and over analyze every single tiny interaction because you want to be super sure if they are maybe feeling vibes back? Omg that is my shit. And the best part of this book was that our two leads were so in it that they were feeling it at the same time but only we knew.
The other big “ummm” I had was the way in which Wilsner used sexual harassment as a plot device. The harassment itself wasn’t gratuitous, but it did spur a Moment of Reconciliation—which isn’t my preferred way of forcing character development. And I also think that the harassment and a character’s reaction to the harassment was enough; I didn’t then need the character to basically create the Times Up movement. Being made aware of how men of privilege take advantage of women is important in fiction, but sometimes I don’t need to have an analogy so closely align to the real world, you know?
So, while Something to Talk About deals with some heavy shit, if your thing is a friends-to-lovers office romance between two adult women, you need to read this book immediately.